McDonnell Trial Day 15: Judge Denies Motion to Acquit
Just one day after the prosecution wrapped up 13 days of presenting its case, attorneys for former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, said they should be acquitted of all charges.
The McDonnells are charged in a 14-count indictment with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting his company's nutritional supplements. They could face decades in prison if convicted.
Bob McDonnell left federal court in Richmond Friday after the judge ruled not to acquit the former first couple of corruption or false statement charges.
“Obviously this is crushing to be a defendant in a criminal case. I know in my heart what the truth is and we'll look forward now to having our case,” said Bob McDonnell.
The McDonnells' defense team claimed the prosecution had failed to show a trade of gifts for favors.
“All I can say is I've had 38 years of public service, public life I've given my entire professional adult life to serving the people of the United States in the Army and serving the people of Virginia,” said Bob McDonnell.
Bob McDonnell arranged one meeting and two functions at the Executive Mansion, government attorneys said, and that gave Williams access to government officials. But defense attorneys said none of those amounted to "an official act,” a required element, they said, of corruption.
Prosecutors disagreed, telling the judge it was up to the jury to decide whether Williams had benefited sufficiently for a guilty verdict. The judge decided it would be up to the jury.
“I really can't comment on anything on the case other than I always try to tell the truth about everything I know in public life and that's what I'm going to do when I take the stand,” said Bob McDonnell.
Monday, the McDonnells' attorneys will begin to present their defense. It is likely Bob McDonnell's attorneys will go first and after they have rested, Maureen's attorneys will proceed.